İrem UZUN -TDO- Madrid's highest regional court on Thursday overturned an order from the central government to impose partial lockdowns throughout the Madrid region, calling the restrictions a contravention of the "rights and fundamental freedoms" of the 4.5 million people who live there.
There was confusion on Thursday as to the immediate effects of the ruling, although it was confirmed that fines cannot now be levied on citizens who flout the confinement of 10 cities in the region, including the Spanish capital. The court ruling does not, however, have an effect on the other restrictions imposed, such as capacity limits for bars and restaurants, and early closing times for all establishments, as well as a limit of six people for meetings both in public and private. The regional government had initially imposed neighborhood specific lockdowns at the behest of the central government, but then implemented a region-wide lockdown on Friday. The restrictions limited activities outside of the home to going to work, school or medical emergencies.
This decision is interpreted by analysts as a war between the central government, run by a coalition of the Socialist Party (PSOE) and junior partner Unidas Podemos, and the Madrid regional government, which is headed by the conservative Popular Party (PP) in coalition with center-right Ciudadanos (Citizens).
Yet, over the last few weeks, the epidemiological situation in Madrid has worsened drastically, but the regional premier, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has been unwilling to implement stricter coronavirus measures on the basis that they would do further harm to the economy. She has accused the central government of intervening in Madrid for political reasons.